The Easter holidays have only just finished and already we can look forward to another long weekend. This bank holiday weekend, you'll be getting ready to celebrate the month of Our Lady.
Every year, on the first of May, people around Ireland gather blossoms and other May flowers to place at the altar of Our Lady.
Perhaps you and your family make a little shrine of your own that you adorn with flowers every May. In most homes, it’s traditional to place fresh flowers at the feet of a portrait or small statue of Mary.
Try something different this year, with this miniature archway for your own personal grotto.
For the May grotto you will need: floral wire, secateurs and spring flowers.
Ask an adult to cut the floral wire with the secateurs for you as it can be tough to handle. Cut four pieces of floral wire, each piece measuring 30cm.
Take two pieces and twist them together before bending into an arch. Repeat with the remaining two pieces.
You will now have two frames for the archway. Stick the frames into a pot of soil so you can complete making the archway.
Next cut some more floral wire to bond the archway together. Wrap little pieces of the wire between each frame. Start from one end and work all the way around until you are done.
Next, place some moss or some baby tears onto the archway, then weave the flowers into it, and place your statue, or a small photo of Mary inside.
Replace the flowers whenever they die with new ones. You can also use fake flowers if you prefer.
When May has ended, keep the archway to reuse next year. Throughout the rest of the year, there are plenty of other occasions you can use the archway as a base for. At Halloween, you can decorate it with some Chinese lanterns. At Christmas, use holly, ivy, or mistletoe. You can place the Nativity characters underneath it at Christmas. For Valentine's Day next year, adorn it with hearts. And for Easter, use tiny eggs and chicks.
Wrap tiny fairy lights around it if you wish, to light it up at night time.
This mini archway also makes a great cake topper. So if you have a birthday in May, you can use the same one or make another one to decorate your cake.